There’s good news in the fight against coronavirus, and it’s coming out of New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will start clinical trials on Tuesday using a combination of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. The combination has shown to be effective in limited use. If the trials work out favorably, this could become the standard of care and give health care professionals a way to reduce the severe illnesses and fatalities associated with the disease.
Chloroquine and its close cousin are the active ingredients in the malaria pills that the U.S. government has doled out to G.I.s for years when deploying them to regions rife with that disease. The compound is effective at stopping viruses. Azithromycin, or Zithromax, which most Americans will know as the compound in the famous “z-pack,” is a potent antibiotic that fights bacterial infections such as pink eye, skin rashes, and even the occasional unmentionable disease picked up in college.
The malaria drug should slow the spread of coronavirus, while the z-pack should help slow or eliminate secondary respiratory infections, which is what leads to severe complications and death.
The federal government gave New York State 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of chloroquine.